Arakawa, Shusaku

About The Artist

Shusaku Arakawa (1936 – 2010) was a Japanese artist and architect. He had a personal and artistic partnership with writer and artist Madeline Gins that spanned more than four decades. Before arriving in New York in 1961, Arakawa had studied mathematics and medicine at the University of Tokyo, and art at the Musashino Art University. He was a member of Tokyo’s Neo-Dada Organizers; in 1958, he exhibited at the 10th Yomiuri Independent exhibition, a watershed event for the postwar Japanese avant-garde. In New York, Arakawa sought out Marcel Duchamp, having the gall to ring him up right from the airport the day he arrived, and the two became close friends.  Duchamp found Arakawa’s art so radical that he strongly advised, particularly in light of the madhouse the art-world was, that he get a job. The 1965 Arakawa exhibition at the Dwan Gallery is an important event in the history of conceptual art.

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